Sevilla’s men’s team had a successful visit to a muddy Marbella on Saturday last, coming away with the Andalusian League title one month before the end of the season.
The second Blitz of 2022, an institution in the Andalusian GAA calendar, featured the usual three frenemies and pioneers of this great sport in southern Spain.
The action began with Costa Gaels Marbella vs Gibraltar, with the hosts getting off to a great start to lead 3 points to no score. Gibraltar we’re soon level when a mistake led to a turnover and penalty which was dispatched well. This didn’t discourage the Costa Gaels however and with new trainer, Johnny’s words ringing in their ears “Playing Gaelic Football is a privilege”, “This ball is precious”, they drove forward and dismantled a disappointing Gibraltar side. The final score was 4-8 to 1-1.
Next up in the men’s was Costa Gaels and Éire Óg Sevilla , with the visitors expected to bring a strong side. Indeed, Sevilla wasted no time in exploiting a Gaels side who seemed mentally switched off in the opening half, scoring three crushing goals which left many wondering “by how much?”
The Gaels to their credit regained their focus due in no small part to some well chosen words by the management and captain at half time. They reemerged to dominate the game, playing like a team, with each pass being into the chest or carefully threaded kick passes into the forwards. Sevilla were clearly on the ropes and with the deficit just a kick of a ball, Marbella had a half chance of a goal which would probably have led them to victory. Instead Sevilla showed character and rose to the challenge, coming forward to secure some late points, holding out to win by three.
In the final game a little fancied Gibraltar took on a now exhausted Sevilla and the game produced some of the most gungho football of the day. End to end at stages and with goal mouth scrambles and tough tackling, there was nothing between the teams.
Seville had raced to a lead thanks to two fine goal finishes by Sevilla’s veteran full forward but Gibraltar sensing their chance, ground down their opponents and got level. It finished a draw although the score is unknown due to a “clerical error”. (Details to follow)
Evan, in midfield for some of his time catching great ball and moving forward with craft and poise, he later spent most of the the second half against Seville tormenting their defense, sidestepping, dummying and goaling.
Notorious publican and flag waver, Micheál, was having a solid day in the half backs before being later moved to full back, to fill the boots of injury-stricken veteran Justin, who himself was having his usual workmanlike, physical, no nonsense game.
Tom, the man between the sticks, taking over from ex-manager and self proclaimed Dub, Kieran, had another solid game saving well when the chips were down and another goal may have opened the floodgates.
In midfield and seemingly everywhere, Dónall, balanced high fielding with runs forward and fisted points. He was a key man in the fightback against Seville.
For Sevilla, Corkman and unrelenting half forward, “Yer man” AKA Brian, was involved with all that was good about their play.
Several other players described as “units” due to their dominating physical presence would merit mention if I knew their names.
A Gibraltar player surprised everyone when he suddenly produced what appeared to be pure Cruzcampo from his insides. A sudden pour, projectile in nature was produced and deposited around the midfield area where everyone made sure not to fall. Possibly even more surprising was that he continued playing.
Off the bench
Seán, future hope and bright spark of Celta Málaga, was lining out with Marbella again due to the inability of the Celta Málaga committee to get their finger out of their holes and actually field a team.
Seán, generally most renowned for his play in the “3er tiempo”, made two successful first half substitute appearances for the Gaels getting on a lot of ball and driving forward with determination.
Another substitute of note was the man almost never refered to as Shane, who recently secured employment with the key duty being “telling women what to do” in a time when women do not like being told what to do. He took to the field and immediately changed the game, charging forward at pace catching the Gibraltar defense in shambolic condition, before driving a low shot into the net. An early shower during which many obscenities were no doubt uttered was an unfortunate way for his day to end.
Many local publicans initially disappointed by losing the league soon became joyous at the realization that the alcohol ban imposed on Costa Gaels players during the season would now be lifted. None of the Costa Gaels team had any recollection of there being an alcohol ban however and had apparently been seen coming out of the local chino “heavily laden”. Further details on this controversy were not immediately available.
The final action of the Andalusian League will be a trip to Gibraltar on March 26th where the three teams will play for pride and what will surely be another great day for the Andalusian GAA community. Congratulations to 2021/22 men’s champions Sevilla.
“Eccentric debauchery & social observations”
John P Brady writes literary fiction, articles on social themes and sport. He ran a blog about life in Italy, where he lived for 6 years. His first book, a collection, entitled Back to the Gaff has been published by Roadside Fiction. It concerns the wild happenings in Dublin by night.
Back to the Gaff
Scandalous Narratives of Contemporary Ireland
Back to the Gaff is a collection by author John P Brady, which describes the excessive and outrageous nature of Irish night life.
Meet an array of eccentric individuals who populate the bars of Dublin, living lives of decadence and abandon. Their frolics inevitably lead to a trip ‘back to the gaff,’ which in Dublin-speak means gravitating towards someone’s place of residence where the depravity continues.